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Chinese New Year 2020

Chinese New Year 2020 is being celebrating in London on 26th January

The Year of the Rat is here! From colourful displays that will make you want to grab your camera, to martial arts displays and street food galore, it’s the perfect time to plan a visit.

As part of the carnival, you can expect lively parades, spectacular stage performances, beautiful displays, immersive family activities and all of your favourite Chinatown London tenants stepping out to fill your tummies with delicious traditional dishes and snacks from around Asia. On Sunday 26th January, London will take to the streets to celebrate.

Here’s everything you need to know:

What time does Chinatown London’s Chinese New Year 2020 celebrations begin?

The Chinese New Year parade starts at 10am on Sunday 26th January, beginning with colourful parade floats and dragon dances on Charing Cross Road. Between 12pm and 6pm in Chinatown London you’ll find lion dancing, craft stalls, a full range of Chinese zodiac animals and plenty of places to stop off for a Chinese New Year dim sum feast.

Where to head to celebrate Chinese New Year 2020

Chinese New Year takes place across the West End, starting at Charing Cross Road, where East meets West, all of the way through Shaftesbury Avenue, and finally reaching Trafalgar Square.

There’ll be many stages set around the area including the martial arts and cultural zone at Shaftesbury Avenue with DJs and taekwondo demonstrations.

Why do we celebrate Chinese New Year?

Although Chinese New Year celebrations will be happening on the 26th January in London, CNY is actually a two-week festival based on lunar cycles. For this reason the date of the festival changes yearly. You may also have heard the celebration called the “Spring Festival” or the “Lunar New Year”.

There are plenty of elements of Chinese New Year which go back as far as 2000 BC. This includes the characteristic drumming and fireworks, said to help ward off evil spirits. The animal that gets chosen to be celebrated (for example, this year’s Rat), relates to the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac. According to Chinese mythology, 12 animals were asked to swim across a river and their winning position dictates the order of the years. As you may already know, those positions were: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Which makes the 2020 Year of the Rat a very special occasion indeed!

To stay up to date with all things Chinese New Year 2020, bookmark this page (we’ll be keeping it updated) and follow our daily posts on Instagram @ChinatownLondon.

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